Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Making Money from Banners with Blogger

One of the very nice aspects of Blogger is that you can add banner advertising to your Blogger blog (Blogspot blog). Placing a few banners on your blog will allow you to make money and encourage you to stay committed to your blog as well.

There is no cost involved in adding banners to Blogger - it is 100% FREE.

It is pretty simple to add affiliate banners and Google Adsense to Blogger. Anyone who knows how to copy and paste can add a few banners in no time. For help on adding banners to Blogger please refer to my article entitled Easy Way to Put Banners on Blogger (Blogspot) Blog

If you are yet to create a Blogger account refer to this tutorial for some helpful hints on creating a free Blogger Blogspot blog and to this article on how to set up and configure Blogger. These articles will have you up and running with Blogger in no time.

How Do I Make Money by Adding Banners to My Blog?
When a visitor clicks on a banner on your blog you will make money. If the banner is a pay per click banner such as Google Adsense and Chitika you will make money for every click. You can even have both Chitika and Google Adsense on the same page as Chitika ads are non-contextual. If you use Chitika as well that will 2 ways to make money instead of just one.

Get Chitika | Premium

When a visitor clicks on an affiliate banner such as the banner below and makes a purchase you earn a commission or a percentage of the sale. Some merchants pay you for referrals so if the visitor signs up you make money. This is known as affiliate marketing and it is a very common way to make money with Blogger other than using pay per click programs like Google Adsense.



Getting Started

In this article I have explored how you might start making money with blogging using banner advertising and a Blogger blog (Blogspot blog). You will earn money by placing pay per click ad units like Google Adsense and Chitika on your blog which pay for every click. You will also earn extra money by adding affiliate marketing banners from the likes of Linkshare. You can even increase the ways to make money by having both Chitika and Google Adsense ad units together with affiliate marketing banners. Begin today by creating your free blogger account or if you already have one why not follow this helpful guide on the basics of adding Google Adsense to a Blogger Blogspot blog.



Related Articles
Create a free Blogger account
Set up your Blogger Blogspot blog
Earn Money with Blogger Join Linkworth Affiliate Program
Easy Way to Put Banners on Blogger (Blogspot) Blog


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Friday, February 20, 2009

Benefits of Blogspot Blogging with Blogger.com

This article covers the main features of Blogger.com and compares some of the advantages and disadvantages of the Blogger platform with other blogging platforms such as Wordpress.

Creating your Blogspot blog at Blogger.com is a good choice for beginner bloggers as it is a free blogging platform with an easy interface and good features. More advanced webmasters may find the lack of some advanced features irritating but Blogger is definitely worth considering as a place to try out blogging at no expense. You can even use your own custom domain name or go with the default subdomain name that Blogger provides.

Blogger.com (Blogspot) Features

  • Blogger is a free blogging platform

  • Blogger is fast and easy to set up. It takes about 10 minutes to create a blog, configure the settings and add some gadgets.

  • Blogger is easy to use regardless of your level of technical knowledge. The interface is user friendly and intuitive. Tabs and buttons make it easy to navigate.

  • Bandwidth is unlimited with Blogger so there are no bandwidth issues with video and pictures

  • As Blogger.com is owned by Google there is a high degree of integration with other services like Google Analytics and Picasa Web Album (generous 1 GB of storage)

  • Easy to make money with Google Adsense and other banner advertising scripts which can easily be incorporated into your blog

  • It is possible to use your own custom domain rather than the default. For instance yoursite.com instead of yoursite.blogspot.com

  • Blogger supports Mobile blogging

  • Blogger gives users the option to tweak templates depending on their experience. Some knowledge of HTML, XML and CSS are needed. Alternatively you can upload your own template with built in features like advertising space, menus and other useful stuff. There are plenty of free templates for Blogger on the web. These can be customised to suit individual requirements


Comparison of the Blogger Platform with Wordpress
While other on-line platforms like Wordpress.org have greater functionality and are more highly customisable there is also a much heftier learning curve. The Wordpress interface is clunkier to use than the Blogger one in my opinion. On the otherhand Wordpress offers 3 GB for media such as photos and video while Blogger is limited to 1 GB so this may swing the balance if you are intending to use a lot of multi-media on your site. The main drawback of the online version of Wordpress though is that it does not allow webmasters to add advertising such as Google Adsense instead it puts advertising on your blog and Wordpress reaps the benefits.

If you choose a self hosted option like Wordpress.com the maintenance is higher and the learning curve increases too. I have a self hosted Wordpress site which needs a lot more maintenance than any of the other sites I run on Blogger (Blogspot). Plus it is time consuming to find, download and customise plugins to extend Wordpress functionality for self hosted sites. Then there are the obvious disadvantages of having to FTP file uploads rather than making changes online as you do with Blogger. My experience with hosting is that there can be a lot of server downtime which can affect your return traffic. Here I am talking about the vagaries of free hosting not paid hosting which is usually far more reliable.

While Wordpress is constantly being updated to eliminate security risks and bugs Blogger is stable and eliminates a lot of the upgrade headache. Blogger comes with a few really annoying glitches that I have found in the interface but in general it is a breeze to use. I have found Wordpress to be equally, if not more bug ridden, so don't let a few minor interface issues put you off. Nothing is ever perfect right?

One of my main frustrations with Blogger is that it is not particularly search engine friendly. It needs a lot of tweaking to provide search engine optimisation. Also some very handy widgets are left off the default configuration. I am hoping these will be added by Blogger further down the track. In particular, I mean the lack of related posts and most popular posts widgets. These features would be very nice to have and facilitate navigation of a blog. On the other hand Blogger does come with some pretty nice widgets which seem to be developing all the time and it also has the option to extend further with third party widgets.

To get the most out of Blogger as a blogging platform, you might want to consider installing a custom template for a more professional and unique look. If you use your own domain name many would be hard pressed to know what blogging platform is being used. However, you would need to dispense with the Nav Bar completely otherwise it would be apparent to visitors that your blogging platform is Blogger.

Click here to get The Blog Profits Blueprint

This article has covered the main features of a Blogger.com blog. It has discussed some of the advantages and disadvantages of blogging using the Blogger platform in comparison to other blogging platforms such as Wordpress.


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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Set Up a Blogspot Blog at Blogger.com

Before you launch into the first post of your new Blogspot blog at Blogger.com it pays to properly set up and configure your blog. There are a number of settings that can be enabled depending on what functionality you require. For webmasters hoping to attract visitors and perhaps make a little cash from advertising it is a good idea to ensure that you have configured the way your blog displays posts and handles comments. If you have not yet got a Blogspot Blog at Blogger.com please see my earlier article about creating a Blogspot Blog: Get a Free Blogspot Blog at Blogger.com.

Basic Settings
Prior to writing your first post go to the Settings tab and click on the Basic link.

Enter the Blog Description. As you are limited to 500 characters your blog description needs to be concise. Make sure it describes the purpose of your site and gives some indication of what kind of content a visitor might expect. The description will appear on your blog in the header section. It can be changed at a later date if needed.

Allow Search Engines to crawl your site should be set to yes if the purpose of your blog is to attract a lot of visitors. If you are wishing to keep your blog for just friends and family rather than the whole world ensure this feature is set to no.

Blogger.com Basic Settings
Click on the Save Settings button

Formatting
Under the Formatting link set the number of posts to show on the main page if greater or less than the default number of 7. If you intend to have longer posts it is better to set this number to around 5. While shorter posts is probably best set at around 7 or 8. You may need to experiment with this feature before you find the best balance for your blog

You will need to adjust the date format and time for your blog according to your geographical location by selecting the most appropriate setting from the drop down menu.

Don't forget to save these changes or your posts will have the wrong date and time on them.

Commenting
In the Comments section you can control how people comment on your blog. If you set this to registered users you will avoid a lot of unwelcome spam however you will also limit who can access your blog. This is likely to be a big issue for you if you are trying to attract a lot of traffic. I suggest you enable Anybody to view your site and set Moderate Comments to always. If you don't moderate comments anyone can post spam including offensive material to your site and you may not be aware of it. Also it is a good idea to enable Word Verification as this will prevent spam bots leaving unwelcome messages.

I find it useful to have Blogger.com email me when comments are made. If you would like this feature too then enter your email address in the Comment Notification box. Save Settings.

Comment Moderation

Archiving
Set the frequency to other than monthly if you think you need to change this setting. In most cases this won't be needed. Make sure Enable Post Pages is set to yes. Save Settings.

Site Feed
In the Post Feed Footer enter a copyright notice about your material if you are concerned about content lifting. Whatever you enter here will be visible after every post in your feed.

Permissions
You can choose to keep your blog private, invite readers to visit your blog or open your blog up to anyone and everyone.

Congratulations! With these settings in place it's time to go ahead and make your first post.

While any of the settings discussed in this tutorial are able to be altered at any time it is a good idea to put them in place prior to writing a first post so that you don't forget to set something important. This tutorial provides instructions on how to configure and set some of the basic features for Blogspot blogs at Blogger.com.


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Monday, February 2, 2009

Get a Free Blogspot Blog at Blogger.com

It's easy to blog at Blogger.com. And its absolutely free. This beginner's guide to creating a Blogspot blog at Blogger.com will get you blogging right away. We show you how to take advantage of this powerful blogging platform which is owned by Google. Don't spend you valuable hours wading through loads of random articles when you can find all the information you need right here in one place. Blogspot Blogger Guide walks you through the process of creating a blog, configuring it, and laying the foundations of a profitable and successful blog. Learn about gadgets, layout, templates, search engine optimisation and more. Sign up to Blogger.com and start enjoying the world of blogging confident in the knowledge that we are here to help.

Main Features of Blogspot Blogging at Blogger.com Blog

Simple user-friendly interface
Easy to post photos, text and videos
Use a blogspot subdomain or your own domain name
No restrictions on bandwidth
Unlimited video storage using YouTube
Photo storage using Picasa Web Album (1 GB)
Support for Mobile blogging


Getting a blog with Blogspot at Blogger.com is a 3 step process:
1. Create an Account
2. Name Your Blog
3. Choose a Template

Create an Account at Blogger.com?
Anyone can sign up for a free account at Blogger.com. Once you have created an account you will be free to create as many blogs as you wish using the one account name. You will be prompted for a name which you will use to sign all of your blog posts. This name is given to the author of your blog which is you. This will be visible to all visitors to your site so think about what name you like to be known by. I use The Wizz for all my sites you can use whatever you like. You can change it later if you need to.

Blogger.com Main Page
If you already have a Google Account
You can use your existing Google Account to login if you have one. For instance an email address at gmail.com. This allows you to switch between various other Google services such as Google Webmaster Tools and Picasa Web Albums. Don't worry if you don't know what these services are as you will learn more about them in a later tutorial.

If you are not already at Blogger.com simply direct your browser to the main page of Blogger.com and click on Sign In from the main page.

If you don't already have a Google Account
If you don't have a Google Account at Blogger.com you will need to create one. Simply direct your browser to Blogger.com if you are not already there, and click on Sign in from the main page.

Follow the Create a Google Account Link
Click the Create an Account link at the bottom of the sign in page and follow the online instructions. This is an easy and relatively straightforward process.

Create a Google Account
Creating Your Blogspot Blog at Blogger.com
Once you have a Google account and have signed in you can create your blog. Follow the steps below to get blogging with Blogspot.

1. Click on the Create a Blog button. You will be directed to the area known as the Dashboard. You will see in the top righthand corner the following options: Dashboard, My Account, Help, Sign Out. Note these for future reference.

2. Check availability of your desired name eg yoursitename.blogspot.com by entering it into the box provided and clicking on Check Availability link. If it is available Blogger.com will confirm this. Otherwise you will have to come up with an alternative. With so many blogs now some of your desired names may be already allocated but if you persevere you will find something that closely matches the title you are after.

Naming Your Blog - Choosing a Title
  • Naming your blog requires some thought as this is the URL address visitors will use to access your site.
  • Long names are difficult to remember and are therefore best avoided.
  • Choose a name that is short, memorable and is associated with your blog theme.
  • Try to choose a name (title) that has at least one of your keywords in it. For instance I chose Blogspot Blogger Guide because it described the purpose of my site and also covered two critical keywords: Blogspot and Blogger.
3. When Blogger.com has confirmed your site name (blog address) go back to the top and fill in your blog title. This will appear on your header once your blog is created so include spacing and title case for clarity for example Blogspot Blogger Guide is what I entered here as the URL for this site is http://blogspotbloggerguide.blogspot.com

3. Assuming you are going to use the default Blogger domain (yoursite.blogspot.com)rather than your own domain name (yoursite.com) click on the Continue button. Before you do this step make certain first that the exact title you want has been entered and you have spelt it correctly.

4. Choose a Template. You will be prompted to select a template from a variety of choices. It is not critical which you choose here as you can change it later if need to. The template for this blog is based on the Rounders template.

Choose a Blogger.com default template
5. Finally you will receive Your Blog Has Been Created screen.

Blogspot Blog Created at Blogger.com

Click on the Start Blogging button and you will be taken to the Posting > Create a New Post screen. It is advisable to set a few settings on your blog before beginning your posts. These will be discussed in my next article: Set Up a Blogspot Blog at Blogger.com.

Create New Post Screen

This tutorial discussed how to create a Blogspot blog at Blogger.com including creating a Google Account, naming your Blogspot blog and choosing a template.


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